The book ‘Gunning for the Godman‘ was written by an IPS officer Ajay Lamba with Sanjeev Mathur based upon the true story behind Asumal Sirumalani Harpalani conviction, also known by ‘Godman Asaram Bapu’. He wasconvicted for rape of a minor and murder charges and punished with life imprisonment. Currently he is imprisoned in the Central Jail Jodhpur.
On Nov 6,2020, A single bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar of Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Sanchita Gupta against Delhi High Court interim order and allowed Harper collins to publish the book ‘Gunning for Godman’.
Firstly, Sanchita Gupta who was also convicted in aforementioned mentioned case of asaram bapu related to rape of a minor, filed a case against Harper Collins for publishing ‘Gunning for the Godman’. The district court passed the order in favour of Sanchita Gupta.
But the bench headed by Justice Najmi Waziri of Delhi High Court set aside the injunction order passed by District Court and the green signal for the publication of the book was given.
He stated that civilized society is governed by the rule of law which means no one is superior than law. So, in such Society decisions should be based upon facts and circumstances.
Right to injunctions arises only in cases where discussion is based upon and unproven facts.
Advocate Kapil Sibal was appearing for Harper collins before Delhi High Court and he submitted that the order of Delhi of District Court is unconstitutional as it is against the fundamental right i.e. right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of Constitution of India.
Observation of Apex Court
The senior advocate Devadatt kamat was appearing for Sanchita Gupta before the supreme court, argued that the book hampers her reputation as it is mentioned in the book that she was in the habit of procuring girls and District Court order was set aside on insubstantial grounds.
The supreme court observed that these arguments were not mentioned anywhere in the High Court order and these issues should be raised before the Delhi High Court itself.
If these grievances were not noted then they should point it out before the High Court.